Hello intern – can your CV win you that dream job?


Have you ever been persuaded to attend an event, be it a concert or conference, solely because of a flyer or brochure you received? Similarly, how frequently have you selected a restaurant for dining after perusing their menu or flyer? The visuals, descriptions and offers depicted in promotional materials hold the power to sway your decision-making process and significantly impact your choices.

Think of your CV as more than just a document; it’s your personal promotional material showcasing your skills, experiences and potential to prospective employers. Just like a well-crafted advertisement that sells a product or service, your CV should effectively market you as a valuable asset to the organisation where you seek to intern. How do you envision presenting yourself in a way that captivates and persuades the organisation to choose you? Follow this reading to learn more.

What details should your CV/resumé entail?

A fundamental rule in resumé writing is to organise information in reverse chronological order. This entails starting with the most recent activities and concluding with the oldest ones within each section. Now, let’s delve into the particularly noteworthy aspects of a CV.

Bio data: The initial section of your CV introduces your personal information, offering prospective employers insight into the intern’s identity. The CV should commence with your full name, followed by contact details, preferably an email address as postal addresses are becoming less relevant.

Emails such as [email protected] may not convey professionalism compared to one that incorporates your name. The key is to opt for an email that includes your first and last name. For example, for a person named Kwame Intern, the email could be [email protected]. Is your email effectively representing you? Your phone number can then be included afterward.

Work experience: This section is commonly labelled ‘Co-Curricular Activities’. If you lack the typical work experience due to not having interned before, it’s essential to leverage your co-curricular roles that highlight your skills and commitment. Emphasise tasks relevant to the internship you’re seeking.

Alternatively, if you have interned previously, or held volunteer positions and part-time jobs, consider including those experiences. Clearly state the name of the organisation you worked for, along with start and end dates to indicate your tenure. Then, detail your responsibilities, achievements and contributions using concise bullet points. Ensure these details align with the internship application requirements.Top of Form

Educational experience: Here, you showcase your academic qualifications and courses undertaken, as well as the laurels you have achieved. Additionally, highlight any academic achievements and seminars you’ve participated in. If you’ve pursued professional programmes or workshops outside your regular curriculum, whether completed or ongoing, include them here too. This demonstrates your proactive approach to learning and staying abreast of developments in your field of interest.

Key competencies/core skills: This section is dedicated to showcasing your essential skills. Highlight your language proficiencies or expertise in computer applications. It’s crucial to understand that your skill set plays a pivotal role in presenting you effectively. Employers are increasingly prioritising behavioural traits like communication skills over academic grades.

In this part of your CV, spotlight skills honed through involvement in social clubs, religious groups, participation in hall or departmental activities, and more.

References/referees: These are the people who will be called upon to inquire about you. Consider using your professors or mentors as referees. It is important to inform your referees ahead of time before including their details on your CV. Additionally, let them know that you are submitting your application for an internship and chances are that they will be called for feedback on you.


By strategically tailoring your CV to align with the specific internship requirements and effectively showcasing your skills and experiences, you significantly enhance your chances of standing out among the lot and winning that coveted internship opportunity. Remember, your CV serves as your marketing tool; and with the right approach, it can indeed win you that dream internship.

>>>The author is a corporate trainer, PR and publishing consultant assisting busy executives to write and publish bestselling books. He has served as Head of Protocol at a diplomatic mission, Corporate Affairs Officer at a French multinational agribusiness, and Events and Media Correspondent for a digital ad agency. You can contact the author via [email protected]

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